The Ten Commandments is a very long, and very cheesy, Cecil B. DeMille epic. But there is one scene that awes me no matter how many times I see it. Moses raises his arms to part the Red Sea. The Israelites pass through and the Egyptian charioteers follow. The Israelites start to panic as the Egyptians race between the walls of water, drawing ever nearer. But Moses knows that the Lord will deliver Israel on that day, and he delivers the climactic line …
“Behold his mighty hand!”
A brief silence as all Israel holds its breath, and then the sound of rushing water and the screams.
The walls of water collapse upon the Egyptians and in the words of Exodus “horse and rider are thrown into the sea.”
This is God at his cinematic best. But outside of Exodus, and Cecil B. DeMille movies, this isn’t the way we usually encounter God.
God usually comes to us the way he came to Elijah on Mount Horeb.
And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12, RSV)
In a still small voice. In everyday acts of love, mercy, and compassion, God is visible through you and through me when we love our neighbor as ourselves.
Behold his mighty hand.